§ LORD BROCKWAY
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British citizens have been arrested in connection with the protests by white students in South Africa against apartheid in education, and what representations have been made to the Government of the Republic on their behalf.6
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE (BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE)
My Lords, so far we know of twelve British subjects who were charged and released on bail. Representations to the South African Government would not at present be helpful.
§ LORD BROCKWAY
My Lords, while thanking the noble Baroness for that Answer, may I ask her this question? Is it not the case that these students were arrested or charged with taking part in quite peaceful demonstrations, either in their own university campuses or in a cathedral; and, in view of that fact, is it not desirable that we should make representations immediately on their behalf, bearing in mind that even the courts in South Africa have said that these arrests ought not to have taken place in these circumstances? Further, is it the case that the South African Government have threatened to deport these students?
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
My Lords, the reason we have not made representations at this time is that we understand that all those involved were properly charged and properly released on bail. But I would say that I share the noble Lord's sense of shock as to what happened within the cathedral.
§ LORD FRASER OF LONSDALE
My Lords, if students demonstrated outside Canterbury Cathedral, would we expect Questions to be asked in the Cape Town Parliament?